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EPSRC Reference: EP/C523687/1
Title: A Dynamic Holographic Assembler
Principal Investigator: Miles, Professor MJ
Other Investigators:
Courtial, Dr JK Rarity, Professor J Padgett, Professor M
Kuball, Professor M Robert, Professor D Hanna, Dr S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr G Gibson
Project Partners:
QinetiQ
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 August 2005 Ends: 31 July 2009 Value (£): 2,285,128
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Light-Matter Interactions
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The dream of nanotechnology is to be able to assemble at the nanometre scale structures which have very special properties because they are so small. These properties arise from the fact that matter behaves differently at this level, e.g.., quantum behaviour. Other special properties come from the fact that small structures have a lot o. surface area for their volume, and, of course, we need to continue to shrink electronic circuits if Moore's Law for increasing computer power with time is to be maintained.How can nanoscale structures be put together? One way is to continue to develop the lithographic techniques that have served us so well in the development of our current integrated circuits; this is the so-called bottom down approach. Any way is to try and make the structures self-assemble by giving the component (molecules, say: special recognition properties; this is the so-called bottom up approach.In this project, we are proposing another bottom up approach in which structures are assembled from nanoscah components using focus light beams to move them around. These beams are known as optical traps. Usually, lens is used to focus the light to a point in which the micron size particle is trapped, but a recent development ha; allowed these focussed beams to be made using a hologram, and this hologram can be generated (using computer) in a liquid crystal display similar to that used in a video or data projector.We are proposing to use the very latest technology to produce a holographic optical trap generator using the highest resolution display in world. This will allow us to not only made hundreds of traps at once to move hundreds of particles simultaneously but also to make the traps more efficient. We will then use the ability to construct three-dimensional structures at the nanoscale to build the world's smallest electronic circuits and optical devices such as microscopic lasers. This could be the manufacturing process of the future.The device will also be important in biology and medicine as it will be capable of `feeling' the structure an( movements inside a single cell through interactions of the trapped particles, and it will also be capable a modifying that structure in a kind of nano surgery.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk